Music

Storytelling and reviews about the artists and trends that define the sounds of the Lone Star State
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Music|
January 1, 1997

War Stories

Mexico’s recent political unrest is the subject of a new CD-ROM from the University of Texas at Austin’s Advanced Communications Technology Laboratory, or ACTlab. The Revolution Will Be Digitized uses video, animation, art, and music to dress up an academic analysis of the Zapatista rebel movement. Due out this spring,

Guides|
January 1, 1997

CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDsIn the sixties, Mayo Thompson’s The Red Krayola was a Houston psychedelic band with a writer—Frederick Barthelme—for a drummer. Thirty years later, the amorphous experimental outfit has a new lineup that makes music with the help of such guests as Minutemen alumnus George Hurley, but time has not tarnished

Music|
December 1, 1996

He Writes the Songs

Though Jerry Lynn Williams is practically unheard of outside the industry, stars like Eric Clapton know him as one of the best tunesmiths anywhere.

Guides|
December 1, 1996

CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDsAlong with Nat “King” Cole, Texas City native Charles Brown became the father of late-night “cocktail blues” in Los Angeles in the forties. Half a century later, Honey Dripper (Verve/Gitanes) vividly conjures up Brown’s suave, stylish world. His voice is sweet and smoky like a rich cigar and as

Music|
December 1, 1996

Around the State

Around the State Edited by Quita McMath, Josh Daniel, Erin Gromen, and Cheri Ballew summary: The Smithsonian Institution takes its show on the road (Houston). Plus: Yuletide celebrations that hold a candle (San Antonio); the Tokyo String Quartet gets caught in the fiddle (Fort Worth and Houston); where to meet

Music|
November 1, 1996

Golden Oldie

After playing for years in relative obscurity, 57-year-old Ronnie Dawson is the latest cult hero in the cultish world of rockabilly.

Music|
November 1, 1996

Antsy Griffith

Antsy Griffith Austin’s Nanci Griffith is holed up in Nashville recording Blue Roses From the Moon(s) (Elektra), which should be in stores this spring. The album’s release coincides with the tenth anniversary of Griffith’s first collaboration with her band, the Blue Moon Orchestra, and features guest appearances by Buddy Holly’s

Guides|
November 1, 1996

CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDsTwo years after their wildly successful debut, Elida y Avante bounce back from label troubles with Algo Entero (Tejas). For my money, Mercedes-born Elida Reyna is tejano’s next female superstar. Her husky, throbbing voice is mature well beyond her 24 years—she has the archetypal blend of innocence and experience—and

Guides|
November 1, 1996

Around the State

Around the State subheading: A selective guide to amusements and events. Edited by Quita McMath, Josh Daniel, Erin Gromen, and Cheri Ballew summary: Members of Bob Wills’s Texas Playboys and Playgirls stage a swinging comeback (Austin and Bandera). Plus: The Day of the Dead lives (Austin, El Paso, Houston, and

Music|
September 30, 1996

Jennifer Peña

ON MAY 29, 1995, TWO MONTHS AFTER THE TRAGIC death of tejano star Selena, a tribute was staged in her honor at Houston’s Astrodome. Although many well-known acts performed that day, including hometown superstars La Mafia and Selena’s former bandmate Pete Astudillo, it was an unknown eleven-year-old dynamo named Jennifer

Music|
September 30, 1996

Quindon

TEN DAYS AFTER HE CELEBRATED HIS FOURTEENTH birthday by downing a seafood dinner and playing a concert in Milwaukee, Quindon Tarver is on top of the world. Actually, he’s on top of Reunion Tower in Dallas, sucking down a virgin piña colada at the Antares restaurant and talking about his

Music|
September 30, 1996

Radish

BEN KWELLER WON’T BE SEEING THE INSIDE of a high school classroom this year, though he could have penned a pretty nifty “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” essay. The fifteen-year-old is the singer, songwriter, guitarist, and pianist for Radish, an astonishingly tuneful alternative-rock trio that has spent the

Guides|
September 30, 1996

CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDsSalt? Fat? Excess? You’ll get none of that from the women of Pork. On their second album, Slop (Emperor Jones/Trance Syndicate), the Austin trio gets maximum results from a minimalist approach. Like a modern-day Modern Lovers, the band has a simple, timeless garage-rock sound that thrives on a patchwork

Music|
September 30, 1996

Quick-Change Artist

So what if consistency is the hallmark of the record business? As the chameleonlike career of Darden Smith suggests, you can go your own way.

Music|
September 30, 1996

Dale Evans

LIKE COWBOYS AND INDIANS or steak and eggs, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans are a classic Western duo. Roy was raised in Duck Run, Ohio, but Dale is Texas’ own, born in Uvalde and raised in tiny Italy. From childhood she was determined to become an entertainer, and after false

Music|
September 30, 1996

Will Lee

My parents were jazzers. In 1954 my father was appointed chairman of the music department at Sam Houston State Teachers College in Huntsville; my mother sang live on the radio. My first memory of any sound at all was of Miles Davis’ muted trumpet; I came out in my pajamas

Music|
August 31, 1996

The Music Man

Most businesses in the West Texas town of Alpine cater to locals, but one attracts Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Junior Brown, and other musical greats. It’s the modest building where Michael Stevens, luthier to the stars, produces electric guitars—fewer than two dozen a year, at $2,700 to $10,000 plus. “We

Guides|
August 31, 1996

Around the State

East meets Southwest in an unprecedented festival of Japanese culture in Dallas. Plus: Texas rock and rollers shake their Hootie; Lubbock gets down for a four-day celebration of cowboys and cool tunes; the University of Texas Longhorns host the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame—and give one of their own the

Guides|
July 31, 1996

CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDs The boys from Bedhead wipe the sleep from their eyes with Beheaded (Trance Syndicate), a volume of 1995 recordings that serves as the band’s second album. The brainy Dallas quintet’s three-guitar setup shimmers and creeps, foreshadowing the hypnotic bursts of woozy but assertive riffs and unassumingly catchy tunesmithing.

Music|
July 31, 1996

Stephen Stills

WHEN WE LIVED IN RIVER OAKS, three or four boys and I would go down to the creek when it was hot, when the dragonflies were louder than the wind and the air was so still that it felt like it weighed a ton—but you’re seven years old and you

Music|
June 30, 1996

Ball Player

AUSTINITE MARCIA BALL’s File Under Blues (Rounder), which she is co-producing with guitarist Derek O’Brien and saxophonist Mark “Kaz” Kazanoff, is in production at Austin’s Arlyn studios. The hardest-tinkling pianist in show business is recording songs like “The Right Tool for the Job” between her more than fifty touring dates

Guides|
June 30, 1996

CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDsBraver Newer World (Elektra) might well be the record that Jimmie Dale Gilmore has always wanted to make. A radical departure in both instrumentation (the sitar and fuzz guitars of the title track) and arrangements (the overhaul of Joe Ely’s “Because of the Wind”), it’s the closest the Austin-via-Lubbock

Guides|
June 30, 1996

Around the State

THE MAIN EVENTWillie Powerby Erin Gromen This July 4 in Luckenbach, you can get Kinky, start Waylon, and fall Asleep at Willie Nelson’s annual picnic—.When he first sang “Let’s go to Luckenbach, Texas, with Waylon and Willie and the boys” almost twenty years ago, Waylon Jennings forever linked himself and

Music|
May 31, 1996

The Hole Story

Austin’s Butthole Surfers have always been very strange. But these days, the strangest thing about them is their mainstream respectability.

Guides|
May 31, 1996

CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDsGrammy award aside, Flaco Jiménez’s last solo album was a big disappointment, for it showed how far Texas’ greatest accordionist had strayed. After all those studio sit-ins with the likes of the Rolling Stones and Dwight Yoakam and those trips around the globe as the ambassador of Tex-Mex, his

Music|
May 31, 1996

Junior Achievement

Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Jeff Walker—and now Junior Brown? The former community college teacher is the latest outlaw to hijack Texas country music, and he may be the greatest.

Music|
April 30, 1996

Riffs on Roy

Oak Cliff native Roy Hargrove may not have the depth and seasoning of Wynton Marsalis, but the 26-year-old prodigy could still be one of the great jazz trumpeters of our day.

Guides|
April 30, 1996

CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDsAustin immigrant Bob Mould made two solo records after the breakup of his first band, Hüsker Dü; now the demise of his latest band, Sugar, has led to a third. Self-produced, entirely self-played, and unassumingly self-titled, the Rykodisc release finds Mould’s somber vocals and crystalline guitar lines meandering from

Music|
April 30, 1996

Around the State

summary: From Nanci Griffith to Butch Hancock, the stars will shine at this year’s Kerrville Folk Festival—the kickoff of a year-long twenty-fifth-anniversary celebration. Plus: Dead presidents in Austin, Spanish masterpieces in Dallas, a haunting opera in Houston, and tee time in Fort Worth. Edited by Quita McMath, Erin Gromen, and

Music|
March 1, 1996

Steady Shawn

Austin singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin is at Cedar Creek studios this month completing a new album, to be released by Columbia Records as early as this summer. Some songs will be produced by John Leventhal, who did Colvin’s Steady On, and others by Malcolm Burn, who has worked with the Neville

Film & TV|
March 1, 1996

Cyd Charisse

I had my first dancing lesson in Amarillo with Constance Ferguson. Constance had been out in California studying ballet with Theodore Kosloff, one of Pavlova’s partners, but she came back to Amarillo and wanted to open a dancing school. Up on the very top floor of a great old hotel

Music|
January 1, 1996

Abra Moore

Abra Moore likes herself, a revelation that comes as she grooves to the music piping through an Austin cafe. It sounds good to her—the singer knowing and ethereal, the sound a jazzy, ruminative folk-pop with a fragile ache. But wait: It’s the sound of her own recent solo debut, Sing

Music|
December 1, 1995

Good Buddy

Forget Buddy Holly? That’ll be the day. Plus: Boone Pickens’ hellish fight, Norma McCorvey’s heavenly conversion.

Music|
November 1, 1995

Time Marches On

Computer-aided choreography, professional composers to score the music, mammoth budgets: At high schools and colleges across Texas these days, marking bands are playing for keeps.

Music|
October 1, 1995

Raving On

Two decades after he played the role of his life in ‘The Buddy Holly Story,’ Gary Busey’s hero worship has made him his own worst enemy.

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